In this vividly colorful world, there is a need to identify and work with colors in almost every sector of work. Everything seems at ease and normal unless you are colorblind. Yes, these individuals exist, and life for these individuals isn’t as easy as it is for us.
Colors play a leading role in our day-to-day lives. From identifying fresh fruits and vegetables for food to driving on the road with traffic lights, colors are an indivisible part of our life. Color blinds have to take extra effort at every point of daily life.
Color blinds may not know that they have a color deficiency because they adapt themselves accordingly and consider that normal until they’re corrected for a mistaken color. Color blinds constitute a major part of the population.
The proportion in the sexes is – eight per cent for males and 0.5 per cent for females. This means that nearly twelve million Americans are colorblind. These people do all kinds of jobs and face difficulties while doing their earnings.
The people in society who are aware of color blindness have a solution that lessens the difficulties of the colorblind and the nation. The solution is screening colorblind, forbidding them from certain jobs which may prove harmful for the customers, or providing them aid.
This article focuses on the problems and solutions to the employment of colorblind.
What is Color Blindness?
Colorblindness is the incapability to see or distinguish the colors red, green or blue and their shades. It is also called CVD (color vision deficiency). In color blindness, specialized nerve cells of the retina responsible for color vision, i.e. Cone cells become inefficient.
Hence, color blinds see the color that they are deficient in as gray. color blindness can be partial (dyschromatopsia) or complete ( achromatopsia). In partial color blindness, the patient is unable to see any one of the colors among red, green and blue and their corresponding shades.
While, in complete color blindness, the patient can’t distinguish or recognise any colors. As a complete color blind, he visualizes life in black and white.
Causes of Color Blindness
Color blindness is primarily a genetic disorder. Meaning, it is inherited in families, generation to generation. However, it is not the only cause. Causes of color blindness can be broadly divided into –
Congenital Color Blindness
Congenital means by birth. In this condition, patients are born color-blind due to genetic inheritance. Maternal genes are responsible for color blindness, as it is an X-linked disease. This means it is carried via the X chromosome, the ‘female gamete’. As a result, males are most affected by this, while females remain carriers and less sufferers.
Acquired Color Blindness
In acquired color blindness, persons are born with normal vision but later develop color blindness due to some acquired conditions. These conditions can include the following.
Age Related Degeneration
Retina may undergo degeneration in certain individuals as age advances.
Glaucoma, cataract, diseases of the retina and eyes, macular degeneration, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, stroke, haemorrhage, hypertension, Alzheimer’s may lead to color blindness.
Nutritional And Vitamin A Deficiency
Certain Drugs And Medicines
Drugs responsible for increasing intraocular pressure, sildenafil, hydroxychloroquine, styrene and ethambutol, etc.
Injury To Eyes, Retina, Or Brain.
Types Of Color Blindness
Color blindness is attributed to deficient recognition of red, green and/or blue colors. These primary colors form the majority of other colors and their shades. color blindness is similarly categorized based on the deficiencies of these 3 main colors, red, green and blue.
Means, protan = is related to the red color, and anopia is = the absence of opsin (color vision cells).
Protanopia is thus defined as red color blindness. In red color blinds, the ‘L-cone’ cells, which are responsible for red color vision are either absent or are abnormal. This results in the non-visualisation of the red color. These people view red as a dark gray color. Red color blinds are unable to watch out for red signals, traffic lights, etc.
Similar to protanopia, deuteranopia is called green color blindness. In deuteranopia, ‘M-cone cells’ are defective or absent in the retina. Hence, green color vision is lost. The deuteranopic patient fails to recognise green lights and colors. It visualizes green color like dark gray bands. They often get confused among red, green and blue colors.
Tritanopia is defined as blue color blindness. Tritanopic patients have deficient or anomalous ‘S- Cones’ in the retina. These patients are unable to see or identify the blue color. Similar to protanopia and deuteranopia, tritanopic patients see the color blue as dark gray.
Apart from these types, mixed types of color blindness like Protan- Deuterans, Deuteran- Tritans, etc, can also be found as a result of cumulative deformity. This manifests as an inability to see two or more colors.
Impact of Color Blindness in Different Fields
Color blinds are engaged in various fields to meet their sources of income knowingly or unknowingly. Each field has different demands specific to the type of work, but almost every field demands color visions. Color-blind workers face difficulties in performing works unique to the fields that they are involved in.
Color Vision Requirements In Different Fields
According to a research study conducted in the US, seventy-five per cent of color-blind people experience difficulties in their fields of work. Almost every field requires working with colors in one or another form.
For example, working with colored drawers, dustbins for segregating things, colored labellings, driving, medicine, aviation and many more. colors are inevitable in many fields of work.
Color blinds need to adapt or help themselves out to ease things and stand equal to other normally visioned co-workers for demanding equal pay.
Jobs That Require Color Vision
As mentioned above, some typical jobs requiring color vision are – electrician, policeman, traffic police, graphics designing, animation, fashion, artistry jobs, baking, chef, teaching, healthcare, engineering, chemists, waste segregation, shopkeeping, sales assistant, etc.
Jobs That Don’t Allow Color Blindness
Employing color blinds in certain jobs may prove hazardous for both the worker as well as the customers and co-workers. These are jobs that require precision and cannot afford any hazard due to color blindness.
Such jobs don’t allow color-blind workers. Examples of such jobs are – professionals like – doctors, engineers, artists, chefs, fashion designers, police officers, heavy motor drivers, pilots, firefighters, disaster management, and electricians.
Examples Of Industries That Don’t Allow Color Blindness
As mentioned above, the industries which don’t allow color blindness are – automotive, designing, healthcare, engineering, electric, and public services like law enforcement, disaster management, and sales. Other industries are explained in detail below.
Pilots encounter colors at every point of their job. The dashboard given for driving has colored lights and buttons for driving, the radar system and signalling both involve the use of primary colors like red, green and blue.
Any one of the CVD may lead to endangering the lives of all the passengers and crew on board.
Graphic Design & Art
Designing and artistry is a play of colors. color is the spine of this industry and an indivisible part. Not being able to identify colors properly or even confusing with the colors and their shades may give a huge loss to the art industry.
Hence, not allowing color blinds is the best decision for the company.
Military work requires camouflaging, spotting the enemy under the heed, and using color-coded weapons and signs. This involves precise visual work of the individual. Any mistake made by a single individual on the battlefield can be responsible for losing a battle.
And every battle affects the nation and its citizens directly. Therefore color blinds may prove to be deadly for themselves and the nation.
Transportation industry consists of drivers, segregation and packaging workers. All of the drivers and workers encounter visual color-related work. Drivers need to tackle traffic signals, and lights from the vehicles at night, and control the driving board.
All these works need prompt vision, else it may take away the life of the driver, and co-workers and damage the contents of the lorry.
Also, the shipment workers need to deal with colored labeling, packaging and storage in colored transport vehicles, etc. Requiring color vision skills. These kinds of works are not meant for color blinds.
Wires in the electronics are colored red, green, blue, black and yellow. color blindness affects the electrical works as the patients may get confused among the wire colors and there are major chances of mistakes leading to serious medical hazards.
Hence, color blinds shall be kept away from electrical wires and related works.
It is a field dealing with skin, skin issues, and makeup. A good knowledge of color shades according to the undertone and complexion of the customer is very crucial in this field.
This demands good vision, color blinds have no place in the field of cosmetology.
Both doctors and nurses need color vision for understanding cyanosis, erythema, rashes, pallor, icterus, the color of the tongue, the color of emergency trays, etc. Hence, color blinds may prove to be harmful to the patients.
Thus, color blinds aren’t allowed in the medical field.
Can Color Blindness Be Cured Or Treated?
For congenital color blindness, the answer is straight no, because it’s a genetic disorder and cannot be corrected. Using glasses specially made for color blinds may aid with such color blinds. For acquired color blindness, preventing and eliminating the causes can be a cure. For example, color blindness caused by medicines can be cured by stopping the medications. Treating the underlying disease if it causes color blindness is also a line of treatment.
What Jobs Are Not Affected By Color Blindness?
Jobs that involve fewer encounters with colors are not affected by color blindness.
Examples of such jobs are –
- Writers, author
- Content writers
- Yoga Instructor
- Customer care executives
- Human resources manager
Keeping in view the jobs which allow color blinds and which do not, it becomes easy for the patients of color blindness to earn ease. This article is beneficial for all color-blinds-seeking jobs. It is also advantageous for the recruiters to know that there may be color blinds among the employees.
It is the responsibility of the employer to hire an individual for work for which he/she is capable. Overall health and visual condition of the employees shall be checked at the time of hiring as well as, timely at specific periods so that employees prove to be an asset to the company.
This ensures the growth of the company as well. People who dreamt of certain jobs from childhood but aren’t allowed to do the job due to their color blindness should not be saddened though.
Due to advancements in technology, there are many medical aids to correct CVD for such individuals. Specialized glasses like Enchroma glasses and lenses ease the life of color blinds by correcting the defect up to a certain extent.